Everybody’s Got A Kelly Slater Story — What’s Yours?
Tell us, we’ll share it with the world.
Have you ever encountered Kelly Slater in the wild?
Perhaps it was a shared session at Soup Bowl, a beer across the bar in France, or maybe you’ve been lucky enough to witness the light glistening off his piercing green eyes during a Hawaiian sunset.
If any of these instances have happened to you, chances are, you remember them. Also, chances are, Kelly does not.
That’s the price of being famous. Every time you go out into the world, people recognize you, and for whatever reason, they put a whole lot of stock into their singular encounters with you, as if the one time you forgot to hold the door for an eldery Italian woman means you permanently hate meatballs.
And you don’t. You were just in a rush and she smelled like aged mozarella.
Anyway, I kicked Kelly Slater in the head once.
I think so at least. I wasn’t looking at him when it happened — I was looking down the line at a gorgeous Lowers wall, with all of life’s dreams and aspirations ahead of me.
Kelly, meanwhile, was paddling — no, levitating — from out the back, gaining ground on a wave that he had no business catching. Presuming it was physically impossible for a person sitting at the peak to catch a tiny inside double-up, I turned and started paddling some 10 meters inside of the GOAT, who, assuming my timeline is correct, had just come off winning his 11th world title.
So there I was, gingerly stroking into a sweet little righthander, when the wave started picking me up, and I gave a couple kicks for that last jolt of momentum.
My foot his something hard and spherical before wiggling up beneath my chest.
“Was that…?” I thought as I popped to my feet, “…Kelly’s head?”
I genuinely don’t remember what happened next, but I’d have to assume that I safety-surfed the wave all the way to the beach, before crab-walking over the rocks, sprinting back up the trail, and not looking back a single fucking time. There’s no way to paddle back out after kicking Kelly Slater in the head.
It is, of course, possible, that I kicked somebody else in the head, or potentially kicked Kelly somewhere less important body part, like a shoulder or elbow. And I pray to Laird that that’s the case every single day. But the facts remain that Slater was the person most in line with my path at the time, and that when paddling, we tend to lead with our noggins.
But the great thing is, even if I did kick Kelly in the head, he probably said, ‘Fucking little shit,’ and never thought about it again*.
Meanwhile, I will never forget. Because this is my Kelly Slater story.
Let us know in the comments below. Or better yet, send buck or myself an audio message so we can use it on next week’s pod. [email protected] or [email protected]
Also, read more Kelly stories here.
On this week’s podcast, Buck and I discuss our own Kelly stories at length (his involves being locked in a cage with the GOAT), along with…
– Mikey February’s new clip by Dane Reynolds
– The 21 Most Influential (Surf) People of 2021
– E-Bikes To Be Banned From Trestles
– What’s New on the North Shore
I then reveal my own psychopathic surf sin, which is maybe not worse than kicking Kelly in the head, but it’s certainly more pre-meditated and maniacal.
In the end, Stab co-founder Sam McIntosh joins the show to discuss our ongoing Stab Surfer of the Year project, wherein 50 influential minds pick the best surfers of 2021.
Tune in above, and feel free to leave your personal Kelly Slater story below.
*Kelly, if you’re somehow reading this, I’m sorry!
Why You Should Never Not Paddle Out
How an impromptu 30 minute session made a Jamaican surfer $1,000 richer.
Rio Waida Has Been Surfing Onshore, Oversized Bells Alone
...and he might not go home all year.
John Florence Releases Long-Form Piece On The 243km Great Ocean Squiggle
Tourism Victoria going, ‘he just did our job for us’.
Japanese Rice Farmer Enjoys Frightening Sumatran West Bowls
Kaito Ohashi is on his best behavior.
Watch: When People Like This Speak, We Listen
Raw, extended conversations with Clyde Aikau and Eddie Aikau winner Luke Shepardson.
Diamond Tail = Diamond Hands?
We'll explain everything in the Rusty D-Min Joyride.
Behold Australia’s Nine & NZ’s Two Challenger Series Qualifiers*
May the Southern Cross smile upon you at Snapper.
An Unordinary Life Structured Around A Tidal Bore
Long Read: The life and times of Pete Beachy.
Sun Room: The Overnight Success Of A Young Surf Band
What's it like touring the world and living off of McDonald's?
How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 6
An instructional manual for the modern professional surfer
Globe Pulls Out Of The Apparel Game
…and, Taj Burrow and Dion Agius are now looking for new main sponsors.
Owen Wright Announces Retirement From Competitive And Heavy-Water Surfing
But will surf final CT event at Bells.
Fancy An Ale, Some Good Music, And A Bunch Of Tubes?
Ballet's minimalist full-length will satiate your needs.
Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.
Already a member? Sign In
Want to join? Sign Up